The several battle scenes in Revelation all present the same final assault by Satan against the saints of the Lamb .  We often read the visions of Revelation as if they are presented in chronological sequence, an assumption that creates difficulties when interpreting the several battle scenes depicted in chapters 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, and 20. Do they portray different “final battles” that occur at different times, or is the same war presented from different perspectives? - [ Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash ].

The Dragon's War

In Revelation, the language of “war” is used metaphorically to portray the attacks of the “beast” against the saints .  Revelation  uses “ war ” and related terms to illustrate Satan’s attacks against the followers of the “ Lamb .” It shows no interest in conventional or nuclear warfare between nation-states. Instead, the “ Dragon ” strives mightily to annihilate the church before his allotted time expires, and, to do so, he employs deception, compromise, and persecution - [ Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash ].

The Little Horn

The description of the little horn fits perfectly with the known history of the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, Epiphanes .  The image of the “ little horn ” is a key component of Daniel’s visions. It represents a king from one of the four Hellenic kingdoms that evolved from Alexander the Great’s short-lived empire. The passages from Daniel concerning this figure also provide the outline for Paul’s “ man of lawlessness ” in 2 Thessalonians  - [ Temple of Apollo - Photo by Constantinos Kollias on Unsplash ].

Stand Fast!

Believers prepare for the “apostasy” and the coming “man of lawlessness” by “standing firm” in the apostolic tradition – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 .  Having explained the coming “ apostasy ” and “ man of lawlessness ,” Paul now provides instructions on how believers can avoid the coming deception and find themselves standing “ blameless ” before Jesus when he “ arrives with all his holy ones .” And above all, they must “ stand fast ” and cleave to the teachings received from the apostles - [ Half Dome - Photo by  Jason Hogan  on Unsplash ].

Lawless One Destroyed

Jesus will destroy the works of the “Lawless One” and “paralyze” him at his “arrival” in glory – 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 .  Jesus will deal with the “ lawless one ” at his “ arrival .” In describing this, Paul employs language from Daniel’s vision of the “ little horn speaking great things ,” originally, an image representing the Seleucid ruler who attempted to destroy the Jewish faith through deceit and persecution - [ Photo by  Alice Donovan Rouse  on Unsplash ].

Lying Signs and Wonders

The final deceiver will use “lying signs and wonders” to deceive and cause many saints to depart from the faith – 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 . The “ Day of the Lord ” will not begin until the “ lawless one ” has been “ revealed ” “ in the sanctuary of God .” His arrival will coincide with the “ apostasy ,” and he will be characterized by his ability to deceive, especially with “ lying signs and wonders .” Satan himself will equip this master deceiver to destroy as many saints as possible - [ Church Pews - Photo by  Stefan Kunze  on Unsplash ].